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Reviewed May 7, 2015

We visited Shibuya Lodge & Bush Spa with our family last month, after we had just gotten married. We found that the rangers were incredibly professional (especially in handling the little 'situation' we had where the elephants had unwittingly surrounded us), and that the staff at the lodge was incredibly pleasant. We are already talking about coming back here, as we feel that we received great value for our money, above and beyond anything we expected.

A particular thank you to our ranger Matthew, who extended our game drive by 45 minutes on the last morning, simply because he was determined to find lions for my father.

Room Tip: We really liked room #1, which was slightly secluded and had its own jacuzzi outside.
  • Stayed: April 2015, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank AmitYahav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shibula L, General Manager at Shibula Lodge & Bush Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 7, 2015

Dear Amit

It is always great to hear that our guests have enjoyed their stay with us thoroughly, we love going the extra mile comes naturally.

Hope to see you soon

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2015

Very good lodge, with very nice and great lodge rooms with everything to make it comfortable & great safari's we saw the big 4 of 5big and many other animals & great BBQ "Boma" evening. Morning and evening safari's. Breakfast, lunch and diner with very tasty food.

Room Tip: We had a lodge with an outside shower & jacuzzi, inside a bath and separate shower and separate toilet and 2 sinks and 2 mirrors. Very nice and comfi kingsize bed. An fridge and a safe. Enough place to hang your cloth. We were impressed.
  • Stayed: May 2015, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Marc v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shibula L, General Manager at Shibula Lodge & Bush Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 3, 2015

Dear Marc

Thank you for your review on Trip Advisor. We hope to see you soon.

Kind Regards

Isna Mostert

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2015

A girls weekend away started out with so much promise. My friend and I had booked far in advance and had been planning our girls weekend away complete with bush spa for quite some time. We were so excited. However I should have known from the start when trying to book our spa treatments, that things would go astray. When we booked the spa treatments we were initially accommodated by a friendly staff member and were so excited. However a week before our trip we were Informed that they only had one therapist and my friend and I would not be able to have the treatments together. After back and forth emails, they had conveniently "hired a new therapist" for the weekend. Ok. Perhaps they go the extra mile? Upon arriving at the Welgevonden it was sort of a strange experience. They only collect guests at 13h00 or 16h30. We arrived slightly early and were left waiting with other guests from other lodges. Let me add that the other guests had their hotel set up a table with drinks set out nicely and were simply offered a drink out of a cooler box. Clearly the standards had been set. Never mind that did not deter us. Our weekend had come. Yay for us. When we arrived at the lodge, it looked beautiful from the outside. However when entering in the entertainment section where all meals would be held, my estimation of this so-called 5 star lodge was a little high. While the decor was not terrible. It certainly needed some revamping. We were taken to our room (no 2) and upon first glimpse we were quite pleased. It looked really lovely. However first impressions are often wrong and boy were they this time around. Looking around the room I discovered dead flies lying around all over the room. Disgusting. When we both tried to call our families, we then discovered that our telephone did not work. We immediately reported it to our Game Ranger (the only person "in service" we had met, where the Lodge Manager was we did not yet know). We changed and kept our moods up when we went out to have lunch (only served at 3pm) and ready for our afternoon game drive. The lunch was lovely and our game drive with our Game Ranger afraid was lovely. Craig is very knowledgeable and really tries hard to please everyone while remaining very professional and courteous. When returning to our room to freshen up before dinner we discovered that the fies had only partly been cleaned and we had a miniature swimming pool in our bedroom due to the air on being broken. Our toilet did also not flush properly. We reported all these problems and while we were told they would be sorted out, things really weren't. We were told that they sprayed the bedroom with doom before we arrived to kill the flies brought in by the Elephants and that the same elephants had destroyed the phone lines (despite none of the other rooms having the same problems). Lastly for the first day when returning from dinner, we discovered that we couldn't lock our room door as the key had broken in the lock, also we wanted to bath and showers and discovered that there was no hot water. We simply assumed that everyone else in the lodge (as it was full that weekend) had got there before us. Never mind off to bed to prepare for our early morning game drive. In fairness they did fix the lock on the door. Only after returning back from our spa treatments did we discover that the cold water in our room was not due to the other residents because we had our own geyser which did not work. So my friend and I each had the coldest showers of our lives and were no longer relaxed but wide awake and rearing to go for our next game drive. Our geyser was fixed however while we were on our afternoon game drive. In all fairness the good parts of this lodge were : excellent food (although the second lunch was a chicken pie with blue cheese which almost made my friend throw up. Not everyone likes blue cheese) and very friendly service (friendly is one thing but having things fixed and work properly is an entirely different story). We also saw great Lions, a Cheetah, Elephants and wonderful herds of wildebeest, Impala, zebra, giraffe etc. a comment about the spa- the second therapist they "hired" in my opinion seemed to be a staff member from housekeeping which they had trained. While her massage was very nice, I could tell the difference. I am not complaining as I love the fact that she was trained and now has new skills which I am certain will help her in the future. What I ca say is this. My friend and I did actually have a good weekend despite the disaster that our room was because we had a sense of humour. If you don't lauh, you are going to cry and we really didn't want to ruin our weekend away. The worst thing is that despite everyone admitting that there was a lot wrong with the room (dead flies, broken air in, no hot water, toilet not flushing and phone lines down) people simply said "sorry". The only means of making good was giving my friend two satellite phone calls on the house. Really for a 5 star establishment that was seriously disappointing. Also as an aside when telling other guests about bookings for the spa, perhaps its best to say that two of your guests had booked far in advance for a 2hr30min session instead of simply saying two of your guests had taken up the whole of Saturday and had booked when we arrived thereby causing severe animosity amongst the other guests. Very unnecessary. Sure it has potential. I think if they revamped the lounge area, made sure the rooms were in tip top working order BEFORE guests arrive, have better hospitality skills I.e. Offering one of the spa treatments (perhaps the cheapest one) on the house to say sorry for the disaster of a room? Something that would make them stand out as a 5 star lodge - better guest relation skills, it could be better. I certainly would not rate this a 5 star lodge. Perhaps a 4 star at a push. It is good value for money, however I don't believe the fact that it is not AS expensive as some of the other lodges that the service should also be lesser. If you are going to stay at the Lodge, best keep your sense of humour and remember that you went ther to have fun, to relax and to laugh with your friends and/or family. I want to end that saying the servers like Dave and Frans as well as the Rangers Craig and Nelson (such a wonderful man) really do try and I feel bad for them that the lodge as a whole lets them down.

Room Tip: Try get a room with a jacuzzi (and best hope it works).
  • Stayed: March 2015, traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank AliciaKoch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shibula L, Manager at Shibula Lodge & Bush Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2015

Dear Mrs. Koch

We appreciate you taking the time to comment on your stay at Shibula Lodge. Candid comments from our guests are important to us, as we are always looking at ways to improve our amenities and correct any deficiencies.

We are sorry to hear that overall you and your friend were not pleased with your stay, and reading through your review I can understand.

We will work immediately with the Lodge Management to correct the situation. As mentioned to you in our email correspondence, we would like to have you stay at the property again to have a different experience.

Once again, please accept our apologies for the annoyance and displeasure suffered.

Yours sincerely

Isna Mostert
Reservations Manager
Shibula Lodge

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Reviewed January 27, 2015

The rooms are large & beautiful. The staff are very friendly & helpful. The food is good. The best thing for me was the peace & quiet and restful atmosphere. The gamerangers are very good. We saw allot of animals. I highly recommend booking a massage! Thank you for a lovely weekend.

  • Stayed: January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Eileen V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shibula L, Manager at Shibula Lodge & Bush Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2015

Hi Eileen

Thank you for your lovely comment. We hope to see you soon!

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Reviewed December 29, 2014 via mobile

What a stunning setting, an amazing place and fantastic staff, Laurie, Larry, Frans, Ezekiel, Ronda, Isaac, Francine and Eva that make you very welcome! Our Ranger, Laurie, was brilliant and enabled us to see practically everything we wanted to see! We saw everything from the King of the Jungle to Weaverbirds! Highly recommended!!!!

Stayed: December 2014, traveled with friends
Thank Matt T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shibula L, General Manager at Shibula Lodge & Bush Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2015

Dear Matt

Thank you for your fantastic Review. Our staff at Shibula Lodge and Bush spa pride themselves in making each and every guests experience uniquely memorable and one of a kind. The Reserve offers an abundant variety of wildlife and you are sure to see a some of the Big 5 if not all in one day. We hope to have you visit us again soon.
Warm Regards

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